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Town Gets Patent On Being the Center of Europe

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the continental-drift-be-damned dept.

Patents 169

An anonymous reader writes "And you thought software patents were going to far? How about geography patents? Apparently, as a part of the weird fight over what place in Europe represents the 'geophysical center of Europe,' the Austrian town of Frauenkirchen has received a patent (Austrian patent AM 7738/2003) declaring it the center of Europe. Not clear how one 'infringes' on such a patent, but then again, it's not clear why anyone's patenting this either."

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Doubtful (2, Insightful)

symes (835608) | more than 4 years ago | (#33264768)

And the rest of the article goes on to say:

"Unfortunately, the details are really sparse. Wikipedia notes that it holds the Austrian patent AM 7738/2003, but navigating the Austrian patent website didn't work very well (um... language barrier...). The only source cited by Wikipedia is a speech from a few years ago, which mentions in passing that a woman's church the town had patented it."

Any Austrian patent experts here that can verify this claim? I call BS.

Re:Doubtful (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33264960)

I am no expert, but it seems more likely that it is actually a trademark.
The german sources call AM 7738/2003 "Aktenzeichen" which translate to something like reference number (clearly not patent number) and the austrian "patent amt" is also responsible for trade marks...

Re:Doubtful (2, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265364)

The Austrian Patent Office website is pretty obtuse to navigate, but if you manage to find [patentamt.at] the search page, you can put "7738/03" in the trademark search box and get this result:

Anm.: IMAGEWORX MEDIENPRODUKTIONS-, VERLAGS- UND EVENTMARKETING GMBH *FRAUENKIRCHEN ^ST. MARTINSGASSE 5

Vertr: ZUST.ADR.: CORINO FABIANI *A-7132 FRAUENKIRCHEN ^ST. MARTINSGASSE 5

So there is at least some truth to the story, inasmuch as someone has registered a trademark there. But not a patent.

Re:Doubtful (2, Insightful)

ZippyTheWonderDog (1791646) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265722)

yes, trademark is radically different than a patent (even though that is still dumb). This whole story smacks of inaccuracy.. not just patent instead of trademark, but also assuming that "geophysical" == "geographical". Language is picky - you really have to learn to use the *right* words.

Re:Doubtful (2, Funny)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266040)

/. does not differentiate between patents, trademarks, copyright, industrial design, or trade secrets.

Re:Doubtful (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266610)

No that's the MPAA and RIAA and American Government. Poor us. :(

Re:Doubtful (0, Flamebait)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#33264978)

This should be considered more like a 'trademark' perhaps... "The center of Europe"

You don't even have to be physically in the exact center to make such a claim.

You can say things like "Slashdot is at the center of the blogoverse"

"Silicon valley is the center of the dot com boom"

There are other explicit and implicit meanings possible with the word 'center'

You can refer to something as 'in the middle' even when it's not exactly in the center.

However, due to the local nature of patent laws.... it's doubtful such a patent could be enforced outside the country where it was registered.

The real center of Europe is probably in the UK, Germany, France, or Russia. Austria must be some small country. never heard of that one..

Re:Doubtful (4, Insightful)

danlip (737336) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265310)

Austria must be some small country. never heard of that one..

Seriously? Ever hear of Vienna (in Austria), one of the most important cities in European cultural history? Mozart? Strauss? Freud? Schrödinger? and many others.

Re:Doubtful (5, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265342)

GP may or may not have heard of Schrödinger...

Re:Doubtful (3, Funny)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265938)

I think the point is that he both has and has not heard of Schrödinger...

Re:Doubtful (1)

tangelogee (1486597) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266168)

...but now he's forced to choose one of the two states...

Re:Doubtful (0)

hachete (473378) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265504)

Or Hitler??????? Ye gods, there's no hope left.

You left out an important one... (1)

Estanislao Martnez (203477) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265654)

Seriously? Ever hear of Vienna (in Austria), one of the most important cities in European cultural history? Mozart? Strauss? Freud? Schrödinger? and many others.

Can you tell us your ulterior motive for leaving out Hitler, or do I have to manufacture one?

Re:You left out an important one... (1)

danlip (737336) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265744)

by all means, go ahead and manufacture one. it will be so interesting :-)

but off the top of my head I just wasn't remembering Hitler was Austrian - he's a bit better known for what he did in Germany - and the "culture" section of the wikipedia article was not mentioning him.

Re:You left out an important one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33265794)

He also forgot Josef Fritzl.

Re:Doubtful (1)

Convector (897502) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265656)

Also Arnold Schwarzenegger and Wolfgang Puck.

Re:Doubtful (1)

Estanislao Martnez (203477) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265702)

And I think there was once a war fought over the death of a Crown Prince of Austria or something like that.

Re:Doubtful (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265866)

And the Family von Trapp!

Re:Doubtful (1)

evilbessie (873633) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266152)

I would have gone for an Austrian patent clerk...

Re:Doubtful (1)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266200)

Austria? Let's throw another shrimp on the Barbie!

Re:Doubtful (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266294)

No, Klaus really was German. Born near Bonn, actually.

Re:Doubtful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33265596)

Austria must be some small country. never heard of that one..

It's a big island way down south. I don't know why they'd even think they were part of Europe. In fact, it was originally a prison colony.

Re:Doubtful (3, Interesting)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266084)

The real center of Europe is probably in the UK, Germany, France, or Russia. Austria must be some small country. never heard of that one..

Have you ever seen a map of Europe? Like, ever? How would the UK be at the center? I can forgive you for Germany, since it's right next to Austria. France is next to Germany, so not quite. Russia is almost as bad as UK.

Re:Doubtful (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#33267036)

The slashdot summary claims this is about the Geophysical center of europe, but there's no article to back the claim that that's what they're talking about.

A link to the patent/document hasn't been posted, so how are we supposed to know?

There are other definitions for 'center' besides take the highest latitude, lowest latitude and average them; take the highest longitude and lowest longitude and average them.

For example there are concepts such as "center of mass" and elevation

Some areas have more land than others, mountains, etc. Which causes the center of mass to be different from the average geometrically.

Re:Doubtful (1)

Marcika (1003625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265248)

And the rest of the article goes on to say:

"Unfortunately, the details are really sparse. Wikipedia notes that it holds the Austrian patent AM 7738/2003, but navigating the Austrian patent website didn't work very well (um... language barrier...). The only source cited by Wikipedia is a speech from a few years ago, which mentions in passing that a woman's church the town had patented it."

Any Austrian patent experts here that can verify this claim? I call BS.

IANAPE, but I took the time to navigate through the database search. The Austrian patent office issues not just patents, but also design patterns and trademarks -- this one probably is the latter. However, I actually didn't find the above patent number in any of the categories...

Re:Doubtful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33265304)

Yah, I am Austrian and can confirm zat ze tsentrum of Europe and ze vurld iz in Austria. Also, Siegmund Freud iz ze tscentrum of everyvone's mind, vizout him you vood not know you are nutz.

Re:Doubtful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33265610)

If you look it up, you'll find that it is registered as a "Marke" (trademark), not a patent. This seems to be a non-story.

When Turkey gets the go ahead (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33264772)

Obviously this patent should be revoked when Turkey Joins the EU, as the center should shift eastwards

Re:When Turkey gets the go ahead (2, Informative)

gsslay (807818) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265134)

EU != Europe

Re:When Turkey gets the go ahead (1)

trb (8509) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265370)

Northwestern Turkey is on the continent of Europe, most of Turkey is not. There are large parts of the European contient (like Norway and Russia) that are not in the EU. Membership in the EU does not seem to be relevant to this question.

Re:When Turkey gets the go ahead (2, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265164)

If this had been modded "Funny" instead of "Interesting". I would have let it pass. However, even if Turkey joins the EU, it will still be in Asia rather than Europe and since this "patent" is for being the "geophysical center of Europe" it would apply to the geographical meaning of Europe, not the political meaning.

Re:When Turkey gets the go ahead (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265302)

"it would apply to the geographical meaning of Europe, not the political meaning."

Do you really think "Europe" has any kind of geographical meaning?

Re:When Turkey gets the go ahead (4, Funny)

Sique (173459) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265320)

Oh yes.
It is the continent north of Africa and west of the Ural mountains.

Re:When Turkey gets the go ahead (3, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265894)

As someone else pointed out, the geographical meaning of "Europe" is a reference to the continent of Europe. Historically, it is only recently that "Europe" had any meaning other than this geographical meaning. While the exact geographical area denoted by the word "Europe" has changed over time, that particular usage of the word goes back to at least Herodotus. Additionally, the modern definition of Europe as a continent is actually based on physical facts.

Re:When Turkey gets the go ahead (1)

ktappe (747125) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266380)

If this had been modded "Funny" instead of "Interesting". I would have let it pass. However, even if Turkey joins the EU, it will still be in Asia rather than Europe.

You are aware that part of Turkey is on the European continent, right?

I know why (0)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 4 years ago | (#33264774)

It's to make sure that when the Germans invade next time they'll be forbidden from either a.) renaming the town, or b.) declaring a new center of Europe.

Re:I know why (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265004)

"next time" It won't be the Germans. It will probably be one of those underestimated countries like Spain.

Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition (or the Spanish incursion)

Not that invaders are effectively bound by patents anyway

Re:I know why (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266396)

Hey, just because you can break a peace treaty doesn't mean you can commit IP infringement!

Re:I know why (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#33267004)

What peace treaty?

For tourism, obviously... (2, Insightful)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 4 years ago | (#33264780)

It's like there's a location in Ecuador claiming to be "at the line of the hemisphere", and really it's just a tourist trap with a big white lane being painted on the ground, and PLENTY of tourist junk being sold and T-shirts saying "I've been to the center of the globe and all I got was this stupid T-shirt"

They just want to do the same thing, but with "center of Europe" instead.

Re:For tourism, obviously... (3, Funny)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265362)

We tried something similar to raise tourism here in Canada. With famous alterations to the English language (i.e. "what's that aboot?" and the ever-classic "eh"), killer mosquitoes (why watch Jurassic Park when you can live it?), and our happy-go-lucky play-hockey-anywhere-that's-frozen (everywhere) attitude we've managed to achieve global recognition. And instead of T-shirts (because everyone does those), we have the line "I went to Canada and all I got was this stupid hangover" you'll often hear at customs when tourists are leaving our beautiful country.

Re:For tourism, obviously... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265446)

My friend went to Africa and at the Equator there's some guys who demonstrate the Coriolis Effect with a funnel and a bucket of water...a couple of paces to either side of the white line on the road. [wikipedia.org]

And yes, it really works!

Re:For tourism, obviously... (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265848)

I call B.S.

From your own Wikipedia link: "In reality, this experiment shows that the Coriolis effect is a few orders of magnitude smaller than various other influences on drain direction, the direction in which water was initially added to the container and its geometry. In the above experiment, if the water settles for 2 hours or less (instead of 24), then the vortex can be seen to rotate in either direction."

Re:For tourism, obviously... (1)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266046)

Ehmm, actually it doesn't work!
Those guys that hang around areas where the "equator line" is a tourist attraction are just scammers.
The Coriolis effect is so minuscule compared to the other forces during the experiment that it has no effect. The aforementioned scammers have learned how by slightly tilting and/or moving the bucket (or "rigging" it) they can "help" the water rotate the way they want.
Yes, IAAP...

Re:For tourism, obviously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33266130)

One born every minute...

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33264794)

what happens when European countries expand or rescind into or away from Russian territory?

Re:Anonymous Coward (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#33264974)

They'll have to expand in such a way that it doesn't change the center of Europe.

Re:Anonymous Coward (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265062)

They'll have to expand in such a way that it doesn't change the center of Europe.

Interesting. This may give them veto rights over any expansion of the EU.

Re:Anonymous Coward (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265506)

Given that IIRC plate tectonics is moving Italy towards the alps, the center of Europe should be slowly moving in north direction.

Meh ... (4, Funny)

dc29A (636871) | more than 4 years ago | (#33264798)

Meh ... still not as cool as living in Fucking [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Meh ... (4, Funny)

symes (835608) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265122)

I find this hilarious - there's a whole bunch more here [absoluterandom.com] . My favourites are, along with Fucking, Wank (Germany), Dildo (Canada) and Cock (UK).

Re:Meh ... (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265408)

From the Wiki:

It is believed that the settlement was founded around the 6th century by Focko, a Bavarian nobleman. The existence of the village was documented for the first time in 1070 and historical records show that some twenty years later the lord was Adalpertus de Fucingin.

Can you imagine the coolness of being the Lord of Fucking?

Re:Meh ... (1)

dzafez (897002) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266094)

I lived near "Titz"

Re:Meh ... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266400)

Don't laugh, out of thousands of languages, I'm certain "symes" means something quite unpleasant in some language.

Re:Meh ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33265260)

Meh ... still not as cool as living in Fucking [wikipedia.org] .

Fucking, Austrian town, how does it work?

Re:Meh ... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265708)

You'll also find Tux [wikipedia.org] in Austria. You should also go there if you like Gaming. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Meh ... (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266248)

Yeah, I thought we were moving there when we got married. Unfortunately, my wife was headed for somewhere else.

Re:Meh ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33266902)

I hear that, brother. Thought we were going to Fucking, but wound up in Wank.

Kissing, Germany (1)

roguegramma (982660) | more than 4 years ago | (#33267102)

I'd prefer to live in Kissing, Germany - and it is even pronouced the same way, unlike Fucking which is pronounced Foock-ing

For marketing the town? (2, Insightful)

Meshach (578918) | more than 4 years ago | (#33264832)

What is strange about that? It sounds like they want to secure the term for use in marketing the town. Cities are just looking for a way to set themselves apart and make them marketable.

It is just like Microsot patenting or trademarking their latest slogan ("Your Potential. Our Passion" or whatever it is).

Re:For marketing the town? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33265254)

Patents were intended for temporary monopolies on inventions in exchange for publishing the design.

You con not patent a slogan. That's a trademark.

The town is where it is and they are not inventing anything.

Re:For marketing the town? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265830)

Patents were intended for temporary monopolies on inventions in exchange for publishing the design.

You con not patent a slogan. That's a trademark.

The town is where it is and they are not inventing anything.

And as another post points out, [slashdot.org] a trademark is exactly what they got.

mod. down (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33264852)

it there. Bring open plat7orm, contact to see if

Underground (3, Funny)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 4 years ago | (#33264860)

Because the Earth is curved, the actual geophysical location is going to be many kilometers underground. So technically, they are all fighting over who is closest to Hell. No, not that Hell (Norway), the Hell

Verne (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265542)

Yeah, then it should be the Lidenbrock Sea that is the Centre of Europe.
(Note the European spelling of Centre)

I guess this is similar to the town of Rugby ND claiming to be the center of North America. I don't think the IRB would let them get away with patenting Rugby especially as they don't play the game in the USA

Re:Underground (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266454)

Hell, Michigan?

Re:Underground (2, Funny)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266746)

Don't be redundant.

First Post Patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33264868)

I claim first post and I have a patent on it!

Center like . . . (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265050)

center of mass or center of east-west/north-south extrema? And if center of mass, do you treat Europe as a uniformly dense plain, or not? And is curvature taken into account? This is important to know, there just may be one (other) European town out there in the world who cares about this stuff.

Re:Center like . . . (1)

CityZen (464761) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265346)

Exactly. The "center" is anywhere you want it to be, given the appropriate definition of "center".

Geometry patenting (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265114)

I guess they did that before some other town they hate gets a patent on being the "geographic median city of europe"?

Because there always has been a center of Europe (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265210)

there must be prior art.

Re:Because there always has been a center of Europ (1)

KritonK (949258) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265256)

there must be prior art.

There is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omphalos [wikipedia.org]

the patent has no value (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265274)

save one:

publicity

example 1: making slashdot front page

it's empty grandstanding, it's thumping your chest. it's like carnival barkers talking about having the one and only tallest woman on the planet behind the screen or the littlest man, patented in switzerland by the IMF or whatever random grand poobah of authenticity and legitimacy people have an irrational bias of trust for: its unverifiable bs, but it creates interest. if someone said they had the tallest woman in the three county area, as far as they can tell, and its probably true, they guess... they make less interest, and they make less money. if they say they tried to get the patent on having the littlest man in the world, but couldn't find out how to get such a ridiculous patent, and there may be a guy in china who's littler, but this guy is close enough: again, less interest, and less money

stretching the truth pays dividends in this world. empty unverifiable bold claims pay cold hard cash. proof being, there's a bunch of eyeballs on this website now aware of little austrian town they were never aware of before

this is a pr stunt, and people fall for it, because people fall for empty bravado, always did, and always will

everyone needs to study a little pt barnum in their lives, at the very least, to know something about the weaknesses of their fellow human beings, and if you are intellectually honest, to know something about your own weakness: we react to colorful audacity more than humdrum facts. welcome to psychology 101

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._T._Barnum [wikipedia.org]

Publicity (1)

Superdarion (1286310) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265276)

it's not clear why anyone's patenting this either.

Well, it seems pretty simple to me. Once they have that "patent" they can begin a massive tourism-focused add campaign featuring some hot gal saying stuff like "Come visit the center of Europe" and because they have the patent no other city can go and steal their idea.

Re:Publicity (2, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265468)

I'm betting they'll even have a cross on the ground for tourists to stand on and take photos.

Right next to the souvenir shop.

Prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33265330)

Pff, nonsense. The world (including Europe) has obviously revolved around me since I was born.

mod d03n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33265404)

I do not believe in imaginary property (0)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265422)

Oops. Did I just infringe on the patent on someone's internet name?

Is it the centre really? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265564)

Previously I heard the centre of Europe being in the neighbourhood of Prague. Iceland is pretty far up North. But then there are also places like Spitsbergen and Greenland - count those in and the centre of Europe shifts further up north, some claimed more towards Vilnius even.

Let's see. South of Malta is at 35 deg N, top of Spitsbergen is somewhere near 80 deg N, average 57.5 deg N, then I'm somewhere in Latvia even. Vilnius is just under 55 deg N.

Counting the Nordkapp (North Cape) as northernmost point - it's the northernmost point of the European mainland - at 71 deg N so that will certainly not bring it down as far south as Austria.

Not taking latitudes now, just looking at longitudes. And somehow I have the feeling that Austria is not even close to the centre of Europe. Or maybe they use a different calculation to get the centre to them.

Re:Is it the centre really? (1)

PeterKraus (1244558) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265660)

I think there are two places in my home country, Slovakia, claiming to be in the centre of Europe. Go figure.

Re:Is it the centre really? (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265956)

Back when I went to school, I was told that our country, Ukraine, was the center of Europe. To be more exact, I think it was supposed to be some shithole town in the Carpathian mountains, which, if you look where the Ural mountains are, doesn't seem to be too ridiculous.

slashdot fails again (1)

david_bandel (909002) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265792)

So they didn't get a patent.. and have only been lying and saying they did. They filed and failed. Someone made a speech where they lied about having a patent on it. Why have the standards for slashdot articles deteriorated so much? Is it the readers standards going down or the submitters getting more retarded? Or the people who approve articles getting more lax.

How does this advance the technical arts? (0)

kawabago (551139) | more than 4 years ago | (#33265874)

Maybe someone is confusing a trademark or copyright with a patent.

Best Patent Troll EVER!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33265942)

NM

Patents expire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33266042)

So what happens when this patent expires?

Going to far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33266076)

Going to far what?

Oh, Going too far.

My own patent (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266112)

Before others get any bright ideas, I am patenting myself as the center of the universe.

Re:My own patent (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266890)

Apparently the chucklefucks don't even read them, so feel free.

I tried, but... (1)

birdspider (1476517) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266142)

Though I'm from Austria, I am in now way whatsoever involved with patents, I tried to look "AM 7738/2003" up @ patent search engine [espacenet.com] , without luck. I just noticed that when I filter for Austrian patents the prefix changes to AT XXXXXXX, so I'm not sure what to make of the AM
fyi...

Clearly (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266246)

The UK and this town are colluding to stick the next town over with the bill for fighting coastal erosion (cheaper than an infringement lawsuit!). There's probably kickbacks involved.

Great job Slashdot (1)

asaz989 (901134) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266288)

So apparently the whole of this story is that the village of Frauenkirchen has a trademark for its latest tourism campaign - "Mittelpunkt Europas" ("Centerpoint of Europe", more or less, or more idiomatically just "The Middle/Heart of Europe"). This is a trademark, laying a legal claim to the use of that particular phrase as a brand, not to the idea of being "in the middle of Europe" or anything remotely related to patents. Nice stretch, but no story.

idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33266290)

The whole issue could be an episode of The Simpsons: 'Scientist' of different countries coming up with funny ways to calculate the centre of Europe lies in their own country and even get a patent office involved. For what ? Which person with a right mind cares ?

If someone acts rediculous on the internet and argues about things of no relevance, they often get told to get a life. I assume those scientists and politicians, who care about these matters, have a life though ... so what to tell them ? Get brains ? ... On a serious note, maybe to get wiser. Imho this is real life comedy.

Ok, I'm quite sure this all makes sense, if one analyzes it in an evolutionary context and sees homo sapiens just a social animal. The lack of wisdom is disappointing anyway. I'm quite sure most people, who are acting like this, are capable to see, how rediculous it is, they just never reflect and analyze their mindless behaviour. I'd especially expect more wisdom from people, who see themselves as the intellectual elite or polititians, who are supposed to lead.

"Central Europe" (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266362)

If you've been reading Euro news, you would have noticed that the countries (other than Russia) that we used to call Eastern European have re-labelled themselves as "Central Europeans".

It's a political/PR measure to distance themselves from Russia, and the connotation (good or bad) we had of Eastern Europe.

The "patent" seems in line with this movement.

I don't get it... (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 4 years ago | (#33266718)

How can that town be granted the patent, the country it's in isn't even in the same continent!

It's my umbilicus (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 4 years ago | (#33267028)

It's my umbilicus that's the centre of the (my) universe. But you won't see me patenting this. Just bragging. What a bunch of sorry pussies there in the town of Frauenkirchen. One of the places I will not visit. I will however go back to Vieanna as it is one of the truly beautiful world cities.

Austrian patent office fail (1)

roguegramma (982660) | more than 4 years ago | (#33267142)

I get the following trying to access their public patent search:

error 11
Fatal error: basedir missing - given base directory "c:/webtadirs/FREE" could not be located on this server; please call system administrator.
WebTransactions - © 2005 Fujitsu Siemens Computers GmbH

process patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33267162)

If its the process by which they've determined that Frauenkirchen is the center of Europe, then we can all make our own process ... with different results. /me develops and patents process showing South Africa is the actual center of Europe since it is roughly equidistant to all points on the EU sub-continent being on the other side of the earth.

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